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Difficulty accessing compression nut between joists.

Discussion in 'Plumbing and Central Heating' started by LeeDowner, 29 Nov 2015.

  1. LeeDowner

    LeeDowner

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    I noticed this morning my kitchen ceiling was wet with a small damp patch, checked visible pipes in bathroom above and they are dry so cut a section of kitchen ceiling away and found two elbow compression nuts both leaking.

    There is only around 4-5 inches of space between a joist and a brick wall, that's all I have to turn my spanner. Is there any trick I could use to tighten up the nuts ? Or is it simply a case of finding a small spanner that will fit the nut but also be small enough to get in the gap.

    Just had a new bathroom in the room above with new tiled floor so not pulling any of that up, leak probably caused when putting the radiator back on with too much movement of the pipes.

    I took photos but I can't get them on this laptop. I'll try posting again from my phone.

    Also any advice on patching up the ceiling afterwards ? Would I cut away more plasterboard to reveal half of the underside of the joist and fix a strip of board to that and skim ?

    Thanks, Lee.
     
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  3. LeeDowner

    LeeDowner

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  4. LeeDowner

    LeeDowner

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    On the second photo I think it's actually the nut thats facing up that's leaking, not visible in the picture but it's just mm's from the underside of the floorboards.
     
  5. rsgaz

    rsgaz

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    Look at crowsfoot spanners or a basin wrench.

    If you would prefer an ordinary type spanner, then slogging spanners are very short and may fit.

    Gaz :)
     
  6. Dan Robinson

    Dan Robinson

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    Hhmmm look at all that lovely PTFE in those mechanically strengthened and not leaking joints @JohnD .




    Oh..... Wait...... :LOL:
     
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  7. LeeDowner

    LeeDowner

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    Is there a problem with the joints aside the obvious leaks?

    I'll look for those spanners, cheers.
     
  8. TCCHeating

    TCCHeating

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    Looks like a diy job. A professional plumber wouldn't use ptfe tape on the olives.
     
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  9. LeeDowner

    LeeDowner

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    While I have access is it a good idea to replace the connections?

    So is PTFE ok on the thread but not lower down on the olive?

    I think it was a plumber that did it, I had someone fit the towel heater and he had to adjust those pipes to get them coming up into the room at the right spots.
     
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  11. TCCHeating

    TCCHeating

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    Ptfe has no place anywhere on compressions imho. In rare cases a bit of jointing compound such as jet blue may be needed if there is slight defect where the olive meets the fitting.

    It may be that your compression fittings have been over tightened or under tightened.

    Personally I would just remove the compressions and olives and replace them with soldered fittings.

    Those elbows will be slightly tricky to solder but it is doable. A solder ring fitting will make it a lot easier for you
     
    Last edited: 29 Nov 2015
  12. London Mike 49

    London Mike 49

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    To make it easier to get to the compression fitting I would buy one of these;
    http://cdn.toolstation.com/images/141020-UK/800/23418.jpg
    And cut the spanner in half so you could get a good grip on the fitting and still turn it wth ease.

    Personally I would remove the olives with a olive puller or by cutting across them at a angle , obviously being careful not to score or damage the pipe. When you re fit the fitting , I would use copper olives instead of the brass ones because they compress better and you don't have to tighten them up so much to get a good seal.
    Oh, and don't use tape , I would only use it as a last resort.

    Mike
     
  13. LeeDowner

    LeeDowner

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    Ok thanks for your replies, ill look into soldering if I can remove enough of the pipe to solder it then refit.

    The connection shown in my first picture has a solder connection further down the pipe as you can see which then dissappears through the joist so I can't remove that section to solder it right?
     
  14. 75pete

    75pete

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    The ptfe may have been added because the plumber could not get a last "nip" thus added the tape. It's not the end of the world but the correct tool to nip up the fitting is needed.
    Good luck Lee your get it done.
    Ps
    If you have an oil filter chain wrench(halfords) it just might be worth a try, definitely a DIY approach .
     
    Last edited: 29 Nov 2015
  15. Madrab

    Madrab

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    Perfect example of why compression fitting shouldn't be used in spaces that are easily accessible.

    I would ideally remove and refit using soldered couplings. Being so tight to the floorboards though presents other issues using heat. You'll find it difficult to get them nipped up properly, could maybe use a crows foot/adjustable tap spanner if you can get a good enough leverage on it as suggested.

    You can remove any soldered joint and remake with new end feed or solder ring, as long as you can completely empty the pipe of water and prep it well.

    Just to add to the PTFE wrangle, I'd only use if re-using couplings and olives and then it's gas tape as it's thicker

    As far as making good, yes you could cut back further or attach a baton either side to fix the board to and then skim.
     
  16. tony1851

    tony1851

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    Why is PTFE not recommended for compression joints?
    Just wondering.
     
  17. JohnD

    JohnD

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    I'm sure my obsessive stalker, Dan, can think of a rational reason, in time.
     
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